Opened in 1998, the Sant'Anna d'Alfaedo Museum of Palaeontology and Prehistory
showcases the history of western Lessinia
. Its rooms host fossil finds dating back millions of years and prehistoric artefacts from the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Iron Ages.
In the Human Prehistory room, you can admire important finds ranging from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Neolithic and through to the Metal Ages. Some of the items exhibited here were found in the Grotta di Fumane
and in the Riparo Tagliente
The finds from these sites include flint artefacts, bone engravings, painted stones, and a cast of the tomb found in the Riparo Tagliente
cave, dating back to the Upper Palaeolithic. 'The Shaman', exhibited in a display case, also dates from the same period. In addition, you can admire ceramics and stone tools from a period ranging between the Copper Age and the Iron Age. The skeleton of a bison, which can be found in the central display case, is particularly interesting.
The Palaeontology room, meanwhile, exhibits numerous examples of fossils found during nearby quarrying for 'Pietra di Prun'
, an ornamental stone typical of the area. It has a distinctive arrangement of overlapping layers formed in a marine environment, with numerous fossils incorporated into its formation process. These are the remains of invertebrates, such as sea urchins or ammonites, and marine vertebrates. The latter occupy most of the room, with huge pinkish-white limestone slabs that preserve the skeletal remains of large sharks.
One of the museum's real gems is the find of a Cretodus shark, preserved with the remains of a sea turtle about 2 metres long, which was probably its final meal. It is the most complete fossil of this type of shark discovered to date.
The museum is located in the square in Sant'Anna d'Alfaedo
, so getting there is very easy. There is car parking directly in front of the museum entrance and along the main road.
The ground floor of the building is also accessible for people with disabilities.
Next to the museum outside, there are some benches with stone tables which are perfect for a rest.